About The Arrow
The Arrow explores the relationship between contemplative practice, politics, and activism. We investigate topics in politics, economics, ecology, conflict transformation, and the social sciences. Inspired by the vision of meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche for a “union of social life and spiritual wakefulness” in society, The Arrow provides a critical and much needed space for investigating the meeting point of contemplative wisdom and pressing issues of climate change, racism, inequality, and conflict.
The Arrow takes its inspiration from the teachings of Shambhala Buddhism brought to the West in the early 1970s by renowned meditation master and teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Trungpa Rinpoche brought with him a radical vision of social enlightenment—coining the term “enlightened society”—based on contemplative practice and the application of contemplative wisdom to all aspects of life, culture, economy, and politics. He established Naropa University in 1974.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Trungpa Rinpoche’s eldest son, and the Sakyong Wangmo, Dechen Chöying Sangmo, were important sources of inspiration for the creation of this journal, personally encouraging the project’s launch.
While The Arrow‘s founders remain grateful to Sakyong Mipham’s initial support of the project, we are also heartbroken about the credible allegations of clergy sexual misconduct committed by the Sakyong, and we support the independent investigation and work by An Olive Branch to support the Shambhala community’s healing and reconciliation in the wake of these allegations.
The following articles offer an outline of The Arrow‘s vision. Writers interested in submitting to the journal should read at least one of these:
- Practicing Society by Adam Lobel
- Society as Possibility by Holly Gayley
- Creating Enlightened Society by Judith Simmer-Brown
- Praxis, Pragmatics, Right Action, and The Shambhala Principle by Eva Wong
What's in a Name?
The Arrow is a traditional image of bravery. Within the speed and chaos of our present world, the arrow symbolizes the courage to define a clear direction for how we might benefit others and society.
The subtitle, A Journal of Wakeful Society, Culture & Politics, draws on a traditional dynamic of heaven, earth, and human from ancient Buddhist, Confucian, and Daoist conceptions of benevolent leadership. A good leader, the human element, was one who could join heaven and earth—vision and practicality—in order to be of benefit.
Here, benevolent leadership could be seen more broadly as wholesome citizenship, with Society representing the heaven element, specifically Chögyam Trungpa’s vision of enlightened society. Politics represents earth, symbolizing the practical social systems that are political to varying degrees. The human component is Culture, representing the compassionate wisdom of the human heart and mind that can bring the vision of a good society to the practical level of politics and economics.